How to Launch an Online Company Store
Learn our step by step process on launching a successful online store.
Deciding to launch an online company store is a significant organizational decision and one that will come with many benefits if properly executed. A company store will enable you to provide branded merchandise to your target audience with greater ease. Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of better brand control, provide ease of ordering and increase adoption of your thoughtfully selected, custom branded merchandise. Here are the best practices to consider when you launch your online company store.
Educate Your User Groups
Multiple people, from the general public to employees throughout different departments at your company, may have access to your online company store. By segmenting these people into users groups, you can provide different access to different sections of your online company store depending on the group. This might include varying access to pricing, products, or payment options.
For example, the general public might be setup with a different pricing structure than your employees. Certain employees, like those within your marketing department, may have different payment options or access to different products than your other employees. After you’ve determined which users can have specific access to parts of your store, send out personalized communications to educate them on the benefits and perks of their access.
Provide Admin Access
One of the major advantages of launching an online company store is giving administrators control of your branded merchandise. Administrators can view detailed reporting enabling them to make informed decisions regarding the store. Once you’ve decided which of your employees will be the administrators of your online company store, be sure to inform them of their access to backend reporting.
Notify Employees who Have Been Allocated Budget Funds
Your online company store can offer multiple ways for your employees to order branded merchandise. For authorized employees and departments, you may want to provide access to bypass credit card payments, and allocate orders to internal company budgets. For instance, you can authorize employees from your human resources department to allocate budget funds for orders such as new hire kits. As you launch your store, reach out to the individual employees who will have these specific budget funds to educate them on their access on this payment method.
Build Excitement with a Pre-Announcement Campaign
Deciding to open an online company store is a good opportunity to boost morale and improve brand recognition. You can build excitement through an email or internal company campaign.
An example of a typical pre-announcement campaign includes a series of emails that share the highlights of the online store, showcasing the benefits to your customers. Include a countdown to launch date, as well as any gift codes and promo codes.
Design the Email Announcement
Using an email campaign is an effective method to announce the launch of your online company store. Be sure the content and design of your email announcement reflects your company’s brand and includes relevant information about your new online company store, such as the launch date and an URL.
After you’ve determined the content and style of your email, send it to your appropriate target audiences. The more you can segment your audience to create relevance, the more successful the email campaign will be.
Distribute Gift Codes to Employees
Gift codes are a great way to distribute funds to employees when launching a new online company store. Providing a gift code to each employee encourages them to place their first order and familiarize themselves with the store’s ordering and check-out processes.
Companies that have launched their online company stores by providing gift codes to their employees see greater participation in both the short and long terms. After your launch, you can continue providing gift codes for numerous reasons such as work anniversaries, company holiday gifts and performance rewards.
Also read: Gift Codes for Online Company Stores
Set Up a Limited Time Promo Code for Employees or Customers
Another method to get employees or other shoppers to visit your new online company store and place their first order is to provide promo codes. Promo codes allow for a variety of deals, such as percentage discounts on certain items, flat dollar discounts on order totals, or free items on orders over a specific amount. Setting an expiration date, such as one week after your launch date, creates urgency for your store visitors and ensures a successful launch.
Request Feedback from Those who Place Their First Order
To make sure your online store is successful, reach out to those new buyers after they place their first orders with a survey. Ask them questions such as, “Was the check-out process easy to understand?” or “Are there other products you would like to see on the store?” The feedback they provide can help you better understand the needs of your user base.
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